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August 21, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Another Small Price Rise for Prescription Drugs: According to IMS America, a Dun & Bradstreet unit that tracks pharmaceutical sales, prices were 1.8% higher in the second quarter than in the same period of 1995. They were up 1.3% for the first quarter, the lowest quarterly rise in the previous 25 quarters, IMS said. The slowing price increases partly reflect pledges made by drug makers in 1993, at the height of the health-care debate in Congress--to keep prices low, said Robert Merold, vice president of marketing at Totowa, N.J.-based IMS. IMS said prices of generic drugs declined 10.8% for the quarter and that those of brand-name drugs rose 3.2%. Merold said the lower prices for generic drugs reflect competition as more companies turn to making generics. Sales volumes for prescription drugs increased 5% to 6% in the second quarter.

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